🔒 PREMIUM: Toad-sucking could be Malema’s latest ploy

Andrew Donaldson writes on Politicsweb that the real purpose of the looming ANC conference is the RET agenda to unseat Cyril Ramaphosa as party leader. “The Zupta faction’s clamour for Squirrel’s nuts grows more strident with each passing week, with Jacob Zuma’s daughter, the shrieking violet Duduzile, leading the charge,” he says. Meanwhile, Cyril is trying to demonstrate an interest in service delivery, and thus exposing himself to all manner of ridicule and abuse. This was particularly evident on his trip to Mpumalanga at the weekend to inspect a road repair project in Delmas. And EFF leader Julius Malema has stated his party’s willingness to “kiss lots of frogs” in order to get the party where it should be – but perhaps that, too, is not the real point of the exercise. Read more below for some refreshing satirical comment on South Africa’s dire political situation. – Sandra Laurence

Kiss the farmer, kiss the frog

By Andrew Donaldson

___STEADY_PAYWALL___

A FAMOUS GROUSE

A BRIEF rummage on Google reveals the late American actress and socialite Sylvia Miles as the original inspiration for the quip about desperate attention-seekers and wannabe celebrities who would attend even the opening of an envelope. 

Writing in 1974, the Broadway gossip columnist Jack O’Brian noted that, in a whirlwind of social engagements, the “madcap” Miles had “attended half a dozen openings, including one envelope, two appendectomies and a cellar door…”

Numerous versions of the aside followed. There were photo opportunities at the openings of napkins, books, escalators, supermarkets, taps and so on. 

But it is the envelope that has endured, and the jibe will be borne in mind here at the Slaughtered Lamb (“Finest Ales & Pies”) as the ANC executive continue to make their way on the campaign trail ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.

The ruling elite are, of course, no strangers to the opening of envelopes, particularly the brown, cash-stuffed variety. It is perhaps for this reason that eNCA recently invited NEC member and convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni to appear on the channel’s On The Spot programme to discuss the stigma of corruption dogging the party.

Resplendent in a white polo shirt and baseball cap, possibly to indicate a moral purity but in effect resembling a server in an ice-cream parlour, Yengeni denied that the ANC is corrupt but did concede that some members are involved in corruption. 

What’s more, he said, the party’s leadership would be looking at these members “in the eye” at the national conference before dealing with them “once and for all”.

Yeah, right. But thus another gesture to distract from the conference’s real business, and that is the RET agenda to unseat Cyril Ramaphosa as party leader. The Zupta faction’s clamour for Squirrel’s nuts grows more strident with each passing week, with Jacob Zuma’s daughter, the shrieking violet Duduzile, leading the charge. 

Poor Squirrel. You’d think with opponents like Ace Magashule, Lindiwe Sisulu and Prime Minister Nkosazana Virodene Lockdown Sarafina Dlamini Proxy Zuma, aka “The Clarice”, he’d be able to weather the pygmy onslaught with some ease and doze away undisturbed until December. 

Alas not. The man is his own worst enemy and has unwisely taken it upon himself to campaign as a deliverer of services. In so doing, he has exposed himself to all manner of ridicule and abuse. And so it was with his trip to Mpumalanga at the weekend to inspect a road repair project in Delmas.

It is one thing to attend the opening of an envelope. But the filling in of a pothole

Pardon the lapse into jargon (see below), but the optics were not good. Fikile Mbalula, the small shouty transport minister, had posted on Twitter a video of the president at the controls of a roller as it flattened tar along with images of the man channelling his inner manual labourer. This prompted a torrent of withering scorn and derision on social media. Which we needn’t go into.

One point, though. Many of Squirrel’s entourage appeared amazed that it is entirely possible to repair a hole in the road. Things can be fixed! Perhaps there is hope for us all.

It’s probably too late, though, for our dead president walking. This may explain the mystified expression on his face as, hands on his knees, he stares downwards at his handiwork. It’s as if Frogboiler is confronting his future, buried in a ditch.

High times with the low life

Speaking of frogs, Julius Malema has told delegates at the EFF’s North West provincial conference that they must be willing to kiss a lot of them to advance the Redshirts’ ambitions and “get to where the party is going”.

Exactly where that is, he did not say. But, as News24 has suggested, Malema may have been referring to election coalitions. 

I’m not so sure. Given that he closed the conference on Sunday with an hour-long tirade on “white monopoly capital” and its vice-like control of both the ANC and the DA, not to mention the media, it’s unlikely that many mainstream politicians, let alone hapless amphibians, will be lining up to tug tonsils with the Fighters.

Could the commander-in-chief have been referring to toad-sucking, the new psychedelic drug experience now sweeping the demi-monde? 

Copyright: www.jermwarfare.com

In my day, of course, it was old-fashioned LSD, but times change. Having recently returned from “with it” Ibiza, where he partied up a storm at the wedding of alleged tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti’s daughter, Malema would no doubt have learned of such things hanging out with the “in crowd”. 

According to Addiction Center, a US rehab service, the go-to toad is Bufo Alvarius, a rare poisonous species native to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. As a defence mechanism, it secretes an extremely powerful natural psychedelic when attacked. One bite, and predators spit them out. Pronto.

For decades, shamans in Mexico and the southwestern US have “milked” these creatures and then sun-dried their venom to a dusty paste which was then smoked in native American rituals. The hallucinogenic effects take hold within five minutes and last for about an hour.

But addicts, or “toad-heads”, are now so crazed by the drug’s mind-warping “religious experience” that they have dispensed with the fuss of smoking and have taken to licking the animals directly. Such is the desperation that sucking them sometimes occurs, and the sight of stoners in a stupor with toads in their mouths is not uncommon at so-called “head hops”.

The trick lies in startling the animal so that it secretes its venom. This is especially difficult as the toads are now so cynically jaded that very little in the modern world has an effect on them. EFF policies, on the other hand, are so alarming that these poor creatures will ooze buckets of the stuff as if their very lives depended on it. Be warned, though: the warty side effects can be unsightly.

It could of course be that Malema’s talk of kissing frogs is symbolic of a desire that a handsome prince will magically appear to sweep the EFF off their feet and all will live happily ever after in some fairytale castle. But I doubt it.

Testing times

Cricket South Africa have evidently hired a close relative to write their press releases. This from a statement announcing what may be termed “an arrangement” with Brand SA ahead of the 2022/23 season: 

“Cricket South Africa (CSA) has entered a long-term vision and endorsement lead strategic partnership with Brand SA as the parties move to collaboratively leverage and unlock synergist strategic relevance of the cricket brand while positively positioning the country domestically and internationally.”

It gets worse. CSA’s chief marketing officer, Wanele Mngomezulu, is quoted as saying: 

“To kick-start what is billed to become a global campaign with the primary focus on fostering nations’ pride locally and throughout the globe, various in-market engagements are planned starting with the current SA tour to England where the Brand SA UK and SA’s UK High Commissioner hosted the CSA chairperson, the CEO, the Men’s Proteas team and a delegation to meet the influential stakeholders in a bid to promote the South Africa/United Kingdom relations and the upcoming two women world cups…”

Putting words in someone’s mouth is one thing, but gobbut gobbledegook? I’m sorry, but no-one talks like this. Outside the padded room, that is, and without a straitjacket.

Long-suffering finance reporters will attest however that such jargon-infested nonsense is metastasising at breakneck speed in the corporate world. The practice is clearly designed to impress, and it does. But the impression is the wrong one. The overwrought language is indicative of a poor education and this inability to speak plainly is surely a result of the voguish assault on academia and the humanities.

The CSA statement, meanwhile, has attracted comment elsewhere in the cricketing fraternity. The former England captain Mike Atherton notes in his weekly newspaper column: “More intelligent readers of The Times may be better able to understand this guff than I.”

He claims that, “as a consequence of decisions being made by those with a background in business rather than cricket”, such corporate blather is now common in the sport, and everywhere there are “mission statements … promising ‘synergies’, ‘KPIs’ and ‘execution of skillsets’.”

Atherton has a point. Perhaps CSA could best serve the sport’s interests by just letting the Proteas get on with the game. By all accounts, the team are rather good at it.

For their part, CSA fail to pass muster in their own stated field of expertise, which is that of sniffing out alleged racists. Judging by their miserable performance in recent matters involving Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith, perhaps they should find another line of work.

The braai side of life

Sandrine Rousseau, an MP with France’s Europe Ecology party, has raised a bit of a rumpus in her native country by suggesting that the barbeque is an evil practice that must be stamped out for the sake of the environment and women. 

The outdoor grill, Rousseau has declared, is a ritual that reeks of male flesh-eating compulsion and power over women. As she reportedly told party members: “We have to change mentalities so that eating an entrecôte steak cooked on a barbecue is no longer a symbol of virility.”

Entrecôte steak? Well, beg pardon, ma’am, but that’s tres … French, n’est-ce pas? In our neck of the woods we’re happy with a yard of Grabouw boerie and a jammy red wine. That’s what we call fancy dining. But each to their own. 

Meanwhile, the afore-mentioned Dudu Zuma-Sambudla has launched her own attack on the culture, in particular the September 24 public holiday. “It’s Shaka Day,” the Blesser’s daughter declared in a tweet. “Not Heritage Day Or Braai Day!” 

But what’s this? The renowned Putin supporter has confusingly included in her post an image of a chap in leopard print and feathers dancing on a tennis court. Perhaps she is unaware that it is next month that is Pride month, and that celebrations to honour Shaka, the gay-friendly icon, only start a full week after we’re done with the braai. 

Who will break the news to the warlike Dudu?

Read also: